Unemployment Update: Senate passes Defense Bill – includes extension of eligibility for UE emergency bens and extends eligibility and duration of COBRA subsidy

I am strenuously ignoring what is happening on the Hill today with HCR.  Politico has the Dem ‘Highlight’ document up and it proudly announces CHILDREN will be exempt from pre existing condition limits in the bill, which of course means ADULTS are not. What a POS this thing is. Anyway. Happy talk dammit! The Senate managed to do something good on health care, and it is NOT in this POS bill. It was attached to the Defense Bill, a COBRA extension.

The bill contained the Patriot Act renewal so the lamestream media, in their constant attempts to ‘protect’ O from anything they view as negative, is not reporting all the details of what was in the bill.

They actually extended the COBRA subsidy, as the House did earlier in the week.

DetroitFreePress:

…The legislation makes some key changes to programs which were set to expire. For instance:

•The congressional stimulus bill passed in February created a program that paid 65% of monthly insurance premiums for people who lost their employer-based health care coverage because they were laid off. But that program was only open to people who lost their jobs – and their coverage – by the end of 2009. The new bill extends that eligibility deadline by two months, until the end of February 2010.

•It also adds six months to what was a 9-month period that the federal government would make the 65% of payments through the COBRA health plan, extending the period of payments to 15 months.

•The legislation also extends the deadline to qualify for additional unemployment benefits. Last month, Congress passed legislation adding 14 more weeks of emergency benefits – and six more on top of that for people in hard-hit states like Michigan. But they were only available to people exhausting all their other unemployment benefits by the end of December. The new bill extends that deadline to the end of February.

•It also maintains 2009 federal poverty guidelines – which if reset could have moved some people off food stamps and Medicaid – and adds additional funding to the food stamp program.

•Finally, the legislation authorizes the Small Business Association to continue programs to make loans more attractive to borrowers and lenders, in order to free up credit for businesses…

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December 19, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Healthcare, Labor Department, Politics, Unemployment Statistics. 1 comment.

Market Mover Thursday: Bankrupcty Cramdown bill back in House and Obama Healthcare Summit…

Bankruptcy cramdown bill back on the floor of the House, with Moderate Democrats back on board. The markets have been worrying about this legislation. Our post on the bill here.

Also today the Obama Healthcare Kickoff Party Summit, see our health care post for details…

The markets have been selling health care since the Obama Budget was released:

Health care companies consider President Barack Obama’s budget a potential profit-killer. Investors agreed and dumped their shares last week, dragging down exchange traded funds.

The budget aims to raise taxes and deduction limits for people who earn more than $250,000 a year.

The ultimate goal is to raise $634 billion to help fix the health care system. The tax hikes will generate $318 billion of that amount, and the rest will be squeezed from Medicare, the government-sponsored health program for seniors.

The Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurers could lose as much as $175 billion. The Advantage program is on the chopping block because it pays 14% more to providers than Medicare would for the same services.

On the other hand, the U.S. automobile industry and other sectors consider the end of company-sponsored health care the route to international competitiveness.

As a result of the stimulus package all employers are required to set aside a subsidy for a portion of the COBRA premiums for any employee they lay off for- 9 months the employer is required to pay 70% of the premiums.

As we noted in our detailed piece on Health care today, Baucus’ forthcoming health care legislation will reduce the tax deductions employers  receive for their health care contributions as well..

March 5, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . BSG, Cabinet, citigroup, Doo Wop, Economy, Entertainment, Finance, Healthcare, Immigration, Laurell K. Hamilton, Music, Obama Administration, Politics, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Sci Fi, Taxatrion, Taxes, To Have and Have Not, True Blood, Twilight, Uncategorized, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 1 comment.

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